Category: Ranch Life

WHAT YOU MISSED BY NOT GOING TO A ONE ROOM SCHOOL

WHAT YOU MISSED BY NOT GOING
TO A ONE ROOM SCHOOL

Your dad’s initials
jackknifed deep in a desk now yours

The worst teacher in the world
all day every long day for three years
The best teacher in the world
all day every short day for the next one

Watching other kids get the strap
being watched by them when you got it
Beating the big kids in the spelling bee
taking a beating at recess for your trouble

Melting crayons on the tin protector
three feet from the coal stove burn
Home-grown tomatoes sogging
through home-baked bread

Clapping blackboard brushes
upwind of the cough-filled cloud
Green Dust-Bane and a barn broom
pushed across an oiled wood floor

All your enemies, all your friends
no more than twenty feet away

HORIZONS AREN’T EQUAL OUT HERE

HORIZONS AREN’T EQUAL OUT HERE

The East is fine
for color on the way to the barn
but by the time the chores are done it’s gone

The rest of the day we watch the West

That’s where the weather comes from

That’s the direction the grandfathers faced
when they got this far and found
what they were looking for
or gave up
unhitched the horses
and sat down to watch the sun set

THE FARM, THE RANCH AND THE SWEEPING SCYTHE

THE FARM, THE RANCH
AND THE SWEEPING SCYTHE

Sunrise can be brilly bright
and all day long
everything out to get you

The horse can kick or fall
the bull has horns of steel

Every machine is grinding its teeth
in wait for a chance to bite

and every snowstorm
eager to find you
too far from the barn
and stiffen you like the manure-pile cat

The sunsets worth surviving for